National Jeweler Network

Market Developments

Blue Nile teaming with Monique Lhuillier


Seattle--Blue Nile is the latest specialty jeweler to partner with a well-known name in the wedding world to create a line of branded engagement rings and bands.

On Tuesday, the Seattle-based online retailer announced an exclusive partnership with wedding dress designer Monique Lhuillier. The line, called “Monique Lhuillier Fine Jewelry” will launch in October, with its engagement rings and wedding bands inspired by the designer’s couture gowns.

The pieces will be created in platinum, with prices ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. Blue Nile is slated to roll out additional fashion jewelry items, including earrings, necklaces and pendants, for Valentine’s Day 2013.

“When it comes to prestige, youth and a compelling design vision that inspires today’s brides, no other designer compares,” Blue Nile CEO Harvey Kanter said. “We are proud to partner with Monique and bring this exclusive bridal collection to our customers and the world.”

During the company’s most recent conference call held in August, Kanter alluded to the company’s desire to add more branded, proprietary lines.

Blue Nile is not the first large retailer to create a line of bridal jewelry backed by the name of a well-known wedding dress designer. Last August, Zale Corp. announced an exclusive partnership with Vera Wang on “Vera Wang Love,” a line of diamond bridal jewelry.

Recently, management said the line, which performed well during the fiscal year, will be expanded to 625 more locations next year, including Zale’s outlet stores and stores in Canada.

The Los Angeles-based Lhuillier started her company in 1996 with her husband Tom Bugbee and has become well known for her creations, especially her couture looks crafted for celebrities. Brides who wore Lhuillier on their big day include singer Carrie Underwood, actress Reese Witherspoon and television personality Vanessa Minnillo.

Since the launch of company, Lhuillier’s purview has expanded beyond wedding dresses to include tabletop items, bridesmaids’ dresses, stationary, home fragrance and ML Monique Lhuillier, a collection of eveningwear.

Her products are distributed through Monique Lhuillier stores, high-end department stores and specialty shops in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.